DAV student creates visionary device - Eyerinator developer wins award, scientists working on gadget to make it compact

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  • Published 23.11.11

Bhubaneswar, Nov. 22: Jyoti Ranjan Sahoo has the “vision” to change lives. The 14-year-old has designed a scientific instrument called Eyerinator that would enable visually challenged to see.

A Class IX student of DAV Public School (Unit-VIII) here, Jyoti has made the innovative device by using the optics of a manual camera, closed-circuit television camera, parts of a computer and a plasma television, and connected them to a helmet. The visual aid captures images from all sides, converts them into electrical signals or impulses and sends them to the optical nerves of the eye.

And voila! Any person with partial blindness, glaucoma and low vision problem is able to see, crystal clear!

He came up with the idea after visiting a training centre for visually challenged children. “I saw a young boy with low vision tripping over a stone and falling down. At that moment, I decided that I would do something to help him and others like him,” said Jyoti. He stayed up all night, surfed the internet and read some books to find out a solution.

Six months later, he went back to the training centre with a helmet-like device and asked a partially blind student to put it on. “The boy shouted with joy and said he could see clearly. The teachers thought he was exaggerating and asked me to try it on the students of Bhima Bhoi School for the visually challenged here. The students there, too, gave me a positive response. I was very happy. My project was a success,” he said.

Along with his father, Jyoti then approached several hospitals in the capital city with his innovation. “Prominent hospitals, from LV Prasad Eye Institute here to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi, have certified Eyerinator as a medical breakthrough. The associate professor of ophthalmology at AIIMS has even shown interest to collaborate with him for this project,” Jyoti’s proud father, Balakrishna Sahoo, a state government employee, said.

“I do not have a science background and therefore am incapable of understanding the technicalities of this device. But, I have always supported my son, even if it meant dismantling a camera or a television set,” he said.

Thereafter, Jyoti took part in Ignite-2011, organised by the National Innovation Foundation, India, which functions closely with the Union science and technology department. Out of over 4,100 participants from all over the country, Jyoti and 10 others were selected for “original technological ideas and innovations”. He received the award last month in Delhi from former President APJ Abdul Kalam, on the latter’s birthday celebrated as Children’s Creativity and Innovation Day. “I have patented Eyerinator and scientists of the foundation are working on making it compact. Now, I am trying to gain entry into the 99th Indian Science Congress, which would be held in Bhubaneswar in January. I hope the state government would also support me financially, so that I can procure certain materials to develop the project at my level,” Jyoti said.